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Pourquoi les sceaux ? La sigillographie, nouvel enjeu de l’histoire de l’art

 | 
Jean-Luc Chassel
, 
Marc Gil Chassel

L’image au service des stratégies emblématiques: Élites seigneuriales et bourgeoises

The development of an Identity in thirteenth-century London: the personal seals of Simon FitzMary

John McEwan

Texte intégral

  • 1 M. Reddan, “St. Mary of Bethlehem”, in W. Page, Victoria County History of London, London: Constab (...)
  • 2 The events of Simon’s political career are described in a contemporary chronicle attributed to the (...)
  • 3 J. Andrews et al., The History of Bethlem, London: Routledge, 1997, p. 21-35; N. Vincent, “Goffred (...)
  • 4 See Appendix A and Andrews, History of Bethlem, p. 22. For an introduction to the use of seals by (...)
  • 5 S. Thrupp, The Merchant Class of Medieval London: 1300-1500, Michigan: University of Michigan Pres (...)
  • 6 Historians have, however, expressed interest in the types of images and symbols used by the ruling (...)
  • 7 For convenience, a summary of the careers in civic government of men whose seals are cited in this (...)

1Today Simon FitzMary is perhaps best remembered as the founder, in October 1247, of a religious house dedicated to St Mary of Bethlehem that developed into the notorious Bedlam Hospital1. To his contemporaries, however, Simon was a notable and controversial civic politician2. Compared to many of his colleagues in the civic government, Simon’s life is exceptionally well documented, and he has featured prominently in two recent studies3. In the course of their research, historians have identified surviving impressions of a number of Simon’s seals4. Seals offer valuable evidence to historians of medieval London, as Sylvia Thrupp’s important study of the city’s mercantile elite in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries suggests5. Although large numbers of seals survive from thirteenth-century London, scholars of this period have yet to follow Thrupp’s lead and engage with them systematically6. The case of Simon FitzMary reflects this general limitation in the current scholarship: historians have not fully exploited his seals. In this paper, Simons seals will be set in the context of the documentary evidence that historians have gathered, as well as that of the seals of his colleagues in the civic government7. This approach will draw attention to the profitable interaction between the visual evidence of seals and the written records and demonstrate its potential to further our understanding of Londons civic elite, both collectively and as individuals.

  • 8 For an overview of the governance of the city in this period, see D. Keene, “London from the Post- (...)
  • 9 The civic government had a complex structure and over time the number of officers increased. For t (...)
  • 10 Precisely when the office of mayor of London was created is uncertain. Henry FitzAilwin emerges as (...)
  • 11 From 1191 sheriffs served for a year, but from 1218 two years became customary. In 1230 the term w (...)

2During the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, the Crown gradually allowed the Londoners to extend their powers of self-government8. By the mid-thirteenth century, the civic government had been greatly strengthened, for it assumed much of the responsibility for organizing and administering the city on behalf of the citizens. The government was dominated by a small group of men who held the offices of mayor, sheriff, and alderman9. At the top of the hierarchy was the mayor, who was elected annually but often served several successive terms10. He was at once a personification of the political community and an authority figure who presided over his fellow citizens. He acted in concert with the two sheriffs of London, who had financial, administrative and judicial duties. From 1230 they served for one year, although they were permitted multiple terms provided the terms were not consecutive11. The mayor and sheriffs were supported by the aldermen who each took responsibility for one of the city’s wards.

  • 12 D. Bowsher et aL, The London Guildhall: An Archaeological History of a Neighbourhood from Early Me (...)
  • 13 J. Alexander and P. Binski (eds.), Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400, London: (...)
  • 14 E. New, “Seals and Status in Medieval English Towns”, in N. Adams, J. Cherry and J. Robinson (eds. (...)
  • 15 C. Barron, “Lay Solidarities: the Wards of Medieval London,” in P. Stafford, J.L. Nelson, J. Marti (...)
  • 16 A Descriptive Calendar of Ancient Deeds in the Public Record Office, 6 vols., London: Eyre and Spo (...)
  • 17 The reference to the banners is found in an early thirteenth century judicial collection in the co (...)
  • 18 In 1234-35, for example, Lucy of Northampton reached an agreement with Richard of Stanford: GL MS (...)

3The power of the civic government and its officers was expressed visually in a variety of ways. The meeting place of the civic government was an impressive stone structure which ranked as one of the largest secular buildings in England when it was built in the twelfth century12. The city’s seal, which is first mentioned in the early thirteenth century, has been described as “one of the outstanding civic seals of medieval Europe”13. The first civic official to gain a seal of office, however, was the mayor c. 1277-127814. Thus historians cannot turn to seals of office to study the high civic officers of the first half of the thirteenth century. Nevertheless, the personal seals of the men who held the high civic offices have much to offer historians. The personal power and prestige of these men was closely intertwined with that of their offices, especially in the case of the aldermen. Wards were commonly known by the names of their aldermen until the end of the thirteenth century when they acquired fixed topographical names15. The men who served as aldermen, c. 1200, were sometimes known by the surname “alderman”16. Aldermen were each expected to have a banner to rally the men of their districts in times of war; Goodall suggests that these banners were decorated with the personal emblems of the aldermen17. Moreover, when an alderman was asked to use a seal in his capacity as alderman, he appear to have used his personal seal18. The personal seals of the men who held the high civic offices, therefore, were statements of identity used by men whose personal identities were not clearly differentiated from the offices they held.

  • 19 In this paper, all dates for the terms of office of mayors and sheriffs are drawn from: Barron, Lo (...)
  • 20 The bulk of the evidence for the seals of thirteenth-century Londoners is in the form of surviving (...)
  • 21 On the property holdings of the prominent men, see Keene, “London from the post Roman Period...”, (...)
  • 22 The Guildhall Library (GL) holds the deeds of St Paul’s Cathedral. The deeds of St Bartholomew Hos (...)

4Thanks to the work of several generations of scholars, historians now have lists of the men who held the high civic offices from the late twelfth century onwards19. When two parties exchanged land in thirteenth-century London, they customarily had the transaction recorded in writing and validated with seals20. As the men who held the high civic offices were often exceptionally wealthy and held large amounts of property, they tended to be involved in relatively large numbers of transactions during their lifetimes21. The greater the number of documents produced, the more likely it is that one will survive and preserve an impression of a seal. By cross-referencing the lists of officers against the catalogues of deeds available in archives, documents recording transactions to which the high civic officers were parties can be identified. For the purposes of this paper, the collections of the Guildhall Library, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, the London Metropolitan Archive, and the National Archive were surveyed22. Only a minority of documents retain their seals, but a significant number of personal seals used by men who served in the high civic offices can be identified. From this evidence, historians can draw conclusions concerning the characteristics and functions of the personal seals of the high civic officers.

  • 23 A. Ailes, ‘The Knight’s Alter Ego: From Equestrian to Armorial Seal’, in Adams, Cherry and Robinso (...)
  • 24 Four impressions survive: LMA CLA/007/EM/02/B/94, B/095, F/035; TNA E42/79. None of the impression (...)
  • 25 BHA 1080, 1104, 1108, 1115.
  • 26 Nicholas Fitzjoce was using a seal incorporating an image of a horseman c. 1259: BHA 861.
  • 27 A brief description of the characteristics of the seals used by high status male Londoners can be (...)

5At the beginning of the thirteenth century the highest nobility in England continued to use equestrian seals, but men of lesser – but still distinguished – social status began to favour shields of arms instead23. In the early thirteenth century the most prominent men in London also began to abandon the use of equestrian seals. The city’s first mayor, Henry FitzAilwin, who served from c. 1190 to 1212, used an equestrian seal featuring a man hawking24. Ralph Steperanc, an early thirteenth-century London alderman, had an equestrian seal displaying an armoured man on horseback25. There is little evidence for the use of equestrian seals by high civic officers, however, after the early thirteenth century26. Instead high civic officers appear to have favoured heraldic seals, ancient gems and seals displaying images of animals27. The study of the seals of London’s high civic officers is still in its initial stages, but their personal seals may have been more iconographically and epigraphically diverse than those of upper-class laymen in England generally. Before setting the seals of Simon FitzMary in the context of the seals of his colleagues, it is important to consider briefly the evidence for his social status and political career.

  • 28 The date c.1200 is suggested in Andrews, History of Bethlem, op. cit., p. 27. Simon makes his firs (...)
  • 29 He may not, however, have come from a great distance. Fulham is a parish to the west of London bor (...)
  • 30 These parishes are clustered near the northern bridgehead: M.D. Lobel (ed.), Historic Town Atlas: (...)
  • 31 Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages, op. cit., p. 314.

6Simon was probably born between 1200 and 121028. A land transaction confirms that he had a father who was known in London as Walter of Fulham. Walter’s surname suggests that he was an immigrant to London29. A survey of the records reveals that in the early thirteenth century a “Walter of Fulham” witnessed land transactions in the parishes of St. Margaret Fish Street, St. Magnus the Martyr, St. Mary at Hill and St. Botolph Billingsgate30. As this Walter of Fulham was active in the right period and his role as a witness indicates that he was a man of some importance, there is a strong possibility that he was Simon’s father. Walter disappears from the records in the 1220s, and Simon emerges in the mid-1230s as a prominent civic leader31.

  • 32 The London Eyre of 1244, eds. H.M. Chew and M. Weinbaum, London: London Record Society, 1970, n° 8 (...)
  • 33 Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriff of London, p. 7; Andrews, History of Bethlem, op. cit., p. 29
  • 34 Beaven, Aldermen of the City of London,i, op. cit., p. 372.
  • 35 Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriff, op. cit., p. 8.
  • 36 The king was probably less interested in the details of the dispute than in its potential to give (...)
  • 37 Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriff, op. cit., p. 16-17.
  • 38 See also: Andrews, History of Bethlem, op. cit., p. 33.
  • 39 Simon’s daughter Joan was still in London in 1257-1258 when she was accused of participating in a (...)

7Simon is recorded holding a number of important public offices, and he must have enjoyed considerable royal favour. As King’s Chamberlain in 1233-1234, he held an office controlled by the Crown that involved important financial responsibilities32. However he also had both supporters and critics within the civic community. Simon was elected sheriff of London in 1233-1234. Partway through his term as sheriff, he was deposed. This was an exceptional event probably instigated by the mayor, Andrew Buckerel, who may not have found Simon sufficiently submissive33. Nevertheless, Simon secured the office of alderman c. 123734. In 1238-1239 Simon caused another crisis when he appeared at the annual elections of the sheriffs with letters from the Crown that directed the civic leaders to elect him35. When the mayor, William Joiner, refused to allow King Henry III to determine the outcome of the election, Henry deposed him and for several months the city had to function without a mayor. Simon’s civic political career came to abrupt end in 1248-1249. In this period a widow of a London alderman disputed the manner in which the civic authorities had adjudicated the settlement of her husband’s estate. The lawsuit raised questions about the civic government’s jurisdiction and when the king became involved he used the case as a pretext to interfere in civic affairs36. As Simon gave support to the widow, his enemies in the civic government accused him of betraying the City. The mayor, Michael Tovy, then took the unusual step of deposing Simon from the office of alderman. The election of Simon’s successor was held in March 1249 but was organized in such a rush that the winning candidate, Alexander le Ferrun, was not in attendance at the meeting and had to be sworn in at a later date37. This suggests that Tovy was worried that Simon might find means, perhaps through royal favour, to recover his office38. Expelled from office, Simon appears to have made no further contribution to civic political life39.

8His contemporary, the alderman and chronicler Arnald FitzThedmar, held him in low regard because of Simon’s willingness to lead opposition to the mayor and to look to the Crown for support. While it is largely due to FitzThedmar that so much is known about Simon’s political career, he is a hostile witness. FitzThedmar portrays Simon as a man who pursued personal power in opposition to the collective interests of his fellow citizens and his colleagues on the aldermanic council. Simon, we can imagine, might have told a different story. Unfortunately, there are no alternative narrative sources for these events, but there is some evidence for how Simon himself hoped to be perceived within the civic community. In addition to the deed recording his foundation of St Mary of Bethlehem, historians can turn to Simon’s seals.

  • 40 GL MS25121/214, MS25121/1070.
  • 41 GL MS25121/214; BHA 1211; TNA E210/3160.
  • 42 Chertsey Abbey Cartularies, II, pt. 1, n° 1207, 1212.
  • 43 GL MS25121/1070. The witnesses included John Viel, his sons John and William, and Richard Hadestoc (...)
  • 44 Adam Basing and Hugh Blunt were sheriffs in 1243-44 and witnessed GL MS25121/214. The witnesses of (...)

9During his lifetime, Simon FitzMary used at least three distinct personal seals, which will be labelled A, B, and C, for the purposes of this study (ill. 1-3). Single impressions of both seals A and B are preserved in Londons Guildhall Library40. Impressions of seal C can be found in the Guildhall Library, the archive of St Bartholomew’s Hospital and the National Archive41. Seal A has been overlooked by scholars, perhaps because the legend on the seal reads: + s simonis fil walteri (“Seal of Simon son of Walter”). No document has yet been discovered that records Simon with this alias. Nevertheless, the seal can be confidently assigned to Simon. The text of the charter to which the seal is attached states that the agreement is between “Simon son of Mary” and “William Gray”. The legend on the seal rules out the possibility that William owned the seal; Simon, however, had a father named Walter42. Moreover, the boar’s head device on the seal was also used by Simon on seal B, for which there are no problems of attribution. Thus, it appears that seal A was owned by Simon and that its legend preserves a variant of Simon’s surname. The unusual form of Simon’s surname on seal A suggests that it might be the earliest of the seals. The document to which seal A is attached, however, can only be assigned to the period: c. 1231-124143. Seal B, by contrast, was in use in 1243-1244, and seal C is on documents dated c. 1226-1247, 1243-1244 and c. 124544. Given the small number of surviving impressions, the order in which Simon acquired his seals and the periods when they were in use are uncertain. Simon, however, was using B and C later in his career when he was prominent in political life. Moreover, B and C must have been in use at the same time, as they survive in a double-sided impression.

  • 45 On the development of shields of arms, see Blair, “Armorials on English Seals”, art. cit., p. 7-19

10At 34x28mm, seal A is the largest seal Simon is known to have used (ill. 1). The seal is scutiform, with the legend wrapped around the exterior and separated from the image at the centre by a raised band decorated with six stemmed cones45. The main image is a boar. The animal, of which only the head is depicted, is in profile and facing to the left. In seal B Simon used the same device, although the shape and size of the seal is different (ill. 2). Seal B is round and 17mm in diameter. The animal is again depicted in profile but facing to the right. There are sharp teeth in the mouth and just behind the creature’s upturned snout is the suggestion of two tusks. The legend reads: + s’si: filii marie (“Seal of Simon son of Mary”). Simon’s seal C is a pointed oval 24x18mm (ill. 3). The legend reads: do pro li proprie: te simon nate marie (“I, Simon born of Mary, give you for him personally”). The main image is a representation of the Virgin and Child enthroned beneath a canopy. In the bottom left of the image field is a kneeling man. He is in profile, facing to the right. His body is defined by long horizontal bands of folded drapery and his arms are outstretched in a gesture of prayer, with his joined hands crossing in front of the Virgin in a position just before the child.

  • 46 TNA E40/6884; BHA 1229.
  • 47 See for example: Joce Acatur: TNA E329/41; Nicholas Bat: LMA CLA/007/EM/02/A/004; Stephen Cornhill (...)
  • 48 Birds appear on the seals of several men: Joce Acatur: TNA E40/2009 and (second seal) TNA E329/41; (...)
  • 49 BL, Harley Charter 47 A44. Another intriguing case of the use of the boar’s head device is provide (...)
  • 50 Constantine FitzAlulf: BHA 469; Jordan Fitzjordan: BHA 7; Roger le Duc: BHA 1178; Nicholas Fitzjoc (...)
  • 51 BHA 1178. For an image of the seal, see McEwan, “Horses, Horsemen and Hunting”, art.cit., p. 83, f (...)
  • 52 BHA 861.
  • 53 On ancient gems, see M. Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record: England 1066-1307, Oxford: Blackwe (...)

11Simon was not the first high civic officer to use an armorial seal, the boar’s head device, a pointed oval seal, or a representation of the Virgin Mary. Seal A, for example, can be compared to the seal of Alan FitzPeter, who served as an alderman at the beginning of the thirteenth century (ill. 4)46. A significant number of Simon successors’in the civic government also incorporated shields of arms into their seals47. Although animals regularly appear on the seals of London’s ruling elite, the boar’s head device, which Simon uses on both seals A and B, is less common48. Hamo Brand, sheriff 1203-1204, used the head of an animal (probably a boar) together with a sword, surrounded by decorative foliage49. There were also precedents for pointed oval seals and representations of the Virgin Mary. Simon’s colleagues most commonly used round seals, but throughout the thirteenth century there are examples of men using pointed ovals50. Nor was Simon’s seal bearing an image of the Virgin an original choice. Roger le Duc, who served as sheriff 1225-1227 and as mayor 1227-1231, and was thus in the forefront of civic politics in the period immediately before Simon FitzMary secured the office of sheriff, used a pointed oval seal with a complex design. The seal is significantly larger than Simon’s seal C and it is divided into two registers51. In the upper section is the Virgin accompanied by a kneeling man of smaller scale. Nicholas Fitzjoce, who served as sheriff after Simon had been expelled from office, had an ancient gem set in a rounded oval seal that depicted a seated women holding a child on her lap52. The seal might well have been interpreted from a Christian perspective by contemporaries and regarded as a Virgin and Child53. Simon, therefore, chose seals whose images and forms were within the bounds of established convention.

  • 54 Harvey and McGuinness, A Guide to British Medieval Seals, op. cit., p. 83-84.
  • 55 TNA E40/11002. The bottom half of the impression is lost.
  • 56 TNA E40/11002; TNA DL 25/132.
  • 57 Robert Blund: BHA 881; Alan FitzPeter: BHA 1229, TNA E40/6884.

12Simon FitzMary is the only example yet identified of a high civic officer who owned three seals. Further research, however, may reveal additional cases. The possession of multiple seals was common in thirteenth-century England among the social elite and people of lesser status54. Many men who served in high civic offices can be shown to have used two seals over the course of their lives. Richard Renger, mayor of London 1222-7 and 1237-9, for example, used a large ancient cameo featuring a representation of Hercules (ill. 6)55. He also had a smaller seal that incorporated an ancient gem depicting a warrior holding a spear (ill. 7). Two separate impressions of the smaller seal survive56. On one occasion it was used as a counterseal, in opposition to the larger seal, but on the second it was used on its own to validate a deed. Robert Blund and Alan FitzPeter, aldermen c. 1200, each possessed a second seal that incorporated an ancient gem with a legend indicating that it was a ‘secret’ seal (ill. 5)57. One reason for acquiring two seals, as these cases suggest, was to have seals that could serve different functions. Both seals could be used to validate documents (separately or in combination), but the ‘secret’ seal could be used to signal the seal owner’s heightened personal involvement in the process of authentication.

  • 58 GL MS25121/108. William Joiner was sheriff in 1222 and mayor in 1239.
  • 59 GL MS25121/540 and GL MS25121/542.
  • 60 Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “cheap” and “boot”.
  • 61 GL MS25121/1229.
  • 62 GL MS25121/1231.
  • 63 TNA E40/2009.
  • 64 TNA E329/41. On Acaturs political career, see Williams, Medieval London, op. cit., p. 252.

13Some men kept two distinct seals simultaneously, but others probably acquired seals as substitutes or replacements for existing seals. In 1212-1214 William Joiner was using a round seal 35 mm in diameter that displayed a geometric pattern of horizontal zigzaging lines and dots (ill. 8)58. In 1244-1245 he was using a seal 28 mm in diameter that presented a cropped version of the earlier design (ill. 9)59. The second seal was clearly intended to reproduce significant features of the first seal, if not to serve as a copy. Social advancement is another factor which may have promoted the acquisition of new seals. Jordan Goodcheap and Joce Acatur offer examples of men whose second seal is a shield of arms incorporating devices displayed on their first seal. Jordan Goodcheap was sheriff 1283-1284. In Middle English, “good-cheap” meant “good bargain” and the phrase ‘to boot’ had a similar connotation: it could mean “to advantage” or “into the bargain”, as well as a form of foot covering60. A document dated 1283-1284 preserves an impression of a round seal used by Goodcheap that featuring a leg or boot device (ill. 10)61. A document dated 1286-1287 provides an example of the same device presented in the context of an armorial seal (ill. 1l)62. The surviving fragment of Joce Acaturs first seal, dated 1277-1278, is sufficiently large to confirm that it was originally round, approximately 28 mm in diameter featured a long-legged bird as its central image63. In 1286-1287 he was using a seal of the same size and shape but with a design that presented a shield bearing a cross and four cranes (ill. 2)64. As Acatur secured the office of alderman in 1283, it is tempting to interpret his acquisition of a second seal displaying a shield of arms as a response to his enhanced political status. Among the politically prominent men of thirteenth-century London, the ownership of multiple seals during the course of their lives may have been the rule rather than the exception. Simon’s ownership of three seals, therefore, was probably not notable.

14The examination of Simons seals as a group, however, reveals that Simon’s motives for acquiring additional seals differed from those already discerned among his peers. Seals A and B share the boar’s head device, and seal B was combined in a double-sided impression with seal C. There is little to connect seals A and C, however. They are of contrasting sizes and shapes and the central images are different. Moreover, on seal A Simon is described as “Simon son of Walter” and on seal C as “Simon born of Mary”. None of his seals are sufficiently similar in design to be construed as a replacement or substitute seal. Seal A is an armorial seal of a type frequently used by lay members of the upper class. Simon, however, appears to have shifted to favouring seals B and C. Seal B is the smallest and simplest of the three seals. Seal C is also small-scale, but it is finely crafted so even though its imagery is religious rather than military or heraldic, it still advertised Simon’s wealth and importance. Simon does not seem, therefore, to have acquired new seals to claim a higher degree of status. Seals B and C are small enough to serve as counterseals to seal A. Neither B nor C, however, bears a legend that states that it was a “privy” seal. In the only case when Simon is known to have used two seals to authenticate a document, he used seals B and C, with seal C placed on the front face. Thus seal C may have supplanted seal A as Simon’s ‘public’ seal while seal B may have functioned as his “private” or “privy” seal. Simon selected seals whose shapes and images conformed to the types favoured by his colleagues, which indicates that he wanted to present himself as a member of the city’s ruling elite. Simon did, however, seize the opportunity afforded by the possession of several seals to vary their designs and legends. This may reflect changing perceptions of his role and status in civic society.

  • 65 Cartulary of Holy Trinity Aldgate, n° 35, 58, 82, 90; Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages, op. (...)
  • 66 TNA DL25/135; LMA CLA/007/EM/02/B/083, F/036.
  • 67 LMA CLA/007/EM/02/C/015.
  • 68 Andrews, History of Bethlem, op. cit., p. 27-28; E.G. O’donoghue, The Story of Bethlehem Hospital, (...)

15There is a pattern to the public image that Simon was presenting in the 1240s. His name, his seals, and his charitable activity, all connected him to the Virgin Mary. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of Simon’s case is his unusual matronymic surname. Most men in thirteenth-century London used surnames that associated them with their fathers, masters, trade, kin or place of origin; among the governing elite the use of two or more aliases was common. Gervase Chamberlain, sheriff 1237-1238, for example, is also known as Gervase Barn and Gervase Cordwainer65. Thomas son of Thomas, mayor 1261-1265, is usually called Thomas son of Thomas in the records, but he is sometimes described as Thomas son of Richard after his grandfather, Richard66. Simon’s use of a number of aliases, therefore, was not notable. His predecessors in the civic government included the sheriffs William FitzIsabel (1193-1194), William FitzAlice (1200-1201), and Martin FitzAlice (1213-1234). Martin Fitz William (sheriff 1225-1226) did on occasion use the alias Martin Fitzlsabel, but matronymics were falling out of use in the early thirteenth century67. To explain why Simon was known by a matronymic, scholars have speculated that Simon’s father was not especially prominent and that Simon therefore became known to his contemporaries by his association with his mother (or grandmother)68. As has already been suggested, there was a Walter of Fulham who was prominent in London in the early thirteenth century, and he provides a plausible candidate for Simon’s father. Moreover, Simon did at one stage in his life use a patronymic and even had it inscribed on a seal. Even if Simon’s father was obscure, it seems unlikely that Simon would have become known by a matronymic, for they were not popular among his contemporaries. In the absence of evidence concerning the identity of his mother and grandmother, it is difficult to discount the possibility that the surname that Simon used from the 1230s onwards was a matronymic. Nonetheless, even if Simon did have a mother (or grandmother) named Mary, that would seem insufficient in itself to explain Simon’s use of her name in his surname.

  • 69 For the site of the religious house, see Lobel, Historic Town Atlas, p. 89 and map 3.
  • 70 Barron, “Introduction” in The Religious Houses of London and Middlesex, op. cit., p. 7; J. Röhrkas (...)
  • 71 Vincent, “Goffredo de Preffetti”, art. cit., p. 219.
  • 72 Andrews, History of Bethlem, op. cit., p. 32-33; Vincent, “Goffredo de Prefetti”, art. cit., p. 22 (...)
  • 73 Goffredo’s seal depicts the Nativity, see Vincent, ibid., p. 234.
  • 74 W. Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1817-1830, vol. 6 (...)

16Could Simons matronymic name have been connected with his religious devotion? The strongest evidence for Simons personal religious beliefs is provided by his charitable acts. In October 1247, shortly after stepping down as sheriff, Simon gave property on the outskirts of London to the order of St Mary of Bethlehem for the purpose of establishing a new priory69. Simon’s desire to found a new institution, rather than to support an existing one, was an exceptional but not unprecedented gesture. Throughout the thirteenth century, the elite of London proved to be generous supporters of religious and charitable organizations70. However, Vincent notes that there is no evidence that the order of Bethlehem held any property in England prior to 1245; Simon may have been the first man to give them land71. To explain Simon’s decision historians have placed particular emphasis on political factors72. Certainly the appearance of the Bishop of Bethlehem, Goffredo de Prefetti, in England in 1246-1247, and his favourable reception by Henry III, must have contributed to Simon’s decision to favour his religious order73. Indeed, Simon might well have learned of the order from Goffredo, and Henry III may have asked Simon to give his support. Simon, however, also had personal motives. In the foundation charter Simon emphasizes his belief in the crucial role of the virgin birth in the salvation of humankind74. The declaration suggest that he subscribed to the order’s Marian focus and wanted to be identified by his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

  • 75 On donor figures on London personals seals, see New, “Seals and Status”, art. cit., p. 38.

17Further evidence that Simon shaped his identity around Mary can be found in his seals. Simon’s seal C, which dates to no later than 1243-1244 and displays an image of the Virgin Mary, could be explained as a play on Simon’s matronymic surname. Two features of the seal, however, suggest that Simon intended the seal to reflect his self-perception as a man devoted to the Virgin. On the legend of seal B Simon’s relationship with Mary is presented in a conventional matronymic form: “Simon son of Mary”. On seal C, however, Simon is described as “Simon born of Mary”. Thirteenthcentury Londoners conventionally formulated their surnames to express their relationship to their parents using the term filius or filia. Simon’s use of the verb nascor is unusual. Through this choice of language, Simon was perhaps signalling that he was a spiritual child of the Virgin Mary, rather than (or in addition to) the biological son of a woman named Mary. There is also a supplicant man in the bottom left of the image who is depicted on a smaller scale than the Virgin75. It is tempting to view the supplicant as a symbolic representation of Simon.

18The case of Simon FitzMary demonstrates that in the mid-thirteenth century London’s high civic officers were fashioning their identities and that they expressed these identities in a number of ways, including through their seals. The fortunate survival of a chronicle account and records associated with his charitable activities enable historians to situate Simons seals in a broader context and thus to grasp more fully their significance. Simon made Marian devotion a key part of his public identity. He decided to support the church of St Mary of Bethlehem, which had little connection to England but was associated with the Nativity and the Virgin Mary. His matronymic surname called attention to the focus of his piety, and distinguished him from the other men of high social status in the civic government. The unusual legend on seal ‘C’ together with the Marian imagery also situated him as a man of piety. The shapes and devices that Simon chose for his seals, however, were also employed by other London men of high status. Simon, therefore, appears to have struggled with a desire to both differentiate himself from and identify with the other men who dominated the civic government. What is difficult to discern, in the absence of further studies, is whether there was a common pattern to the seals used by the men in the high civic offices in the early to mid-thirteenth century. Simon may have been participating in the process of shaping an identity for London’s emerging ruling group, as well as reacting against his peers.

Illustrations

19Images from the Guildhall Library are reproduced by permission of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Guildhall Library (CL), City of London Corporation. All other images are courtesy of the National Archives (TNA). Photographs by John McEwan.

Ill. 1 - Seal of Simon FitzMary (A)
Original, Ø 34 x 28 mm GL, MS25121/1070

Ill. 2 - Seal of Simon FitzMary (B)
Original (obverse), Ø 17 mm London, GL, MS25121/214

Ill. 3 - Seal of Simon FitzMary (C)
Original (reverse), Ø 24 x 18 mm London, GL, MS25121/214

Ill. 4 - Seal of Alan FitzPeter (A)
Original (obverse), Ø 37 mm London, TNA E40/6884

Ill. 5 - Seal of Alan FitzPeter (B)
Original (reverse), Ø 16 x 18 mm London, TNA E40/6884

Ill. 6 - Seal of Richard Renger (A)
Original (reverse), Ø 40 (?) x 30 mm London, TNA E40/11002

Ill. 7 - Seal of Richard Renger (B)
Original (obverse), Ø 22 x 19.5 mm London, TNA E40/11002

Ill. 8 - Seal of William Joiner (A)
Original, Ø 35 mm London, GL, MS25121/108

Ill. 9 - Seal of William Joiner (B)
Original, Ø 28 mm London, GL MS25121/542

Ill. 10 - Seal of Jordan Goodcheap (A)
Original, Ø 20 mm London, GL, MS25121/1229

Ill. 11 - Seal of Jordan Goodcheap (B)
Original, Ø 23 x 18 mm London, GL, MS25121/1231

Ill. 12 - Seal of Joce Acatur
Original, Ø 28 mm London, TNA, E329/41

Annexes

Appendix: Summary of Civic Careers

The table below summarizes the evidence for the civic careers of men whose seals are cited in this study. Unless otherwise noted, all information in this table has been adapted from:

- C.M. Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages: Government and People 1200-1500, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, Appendix 1;

- S. Reynolds, “The Rulers of London in the Twelfth Century”, History, 57, 1972, 337-357;

- A.B. Beaven, The Aldermen of the City of London, London: Eden Fisher, 1908-1913, 2 vols., i, p. 362-365.

Note that men described as “alderman” without further supplemental information are credited with the office by Reynolds. For full details on all the information supplied in this table, please consult the appropriate sources.

Name

Alderman

Sheriff

Mayor

Acatur, Joce

c. 1283-c. 1290

Alegate, Ralph

c. 1280-1285

Bat, Nicholas

c.1247-1258

1244-1245, 1247-1248, 1251-1252

1253-1254

Blund, Robert

Alderman

1196-1197

Brand, Hamo

1203-1204

Chamberlain, William

1202-1203

Cornhill, Gervase

1155-1157, 1160-1161

Cornhill, Stephen

1284-1285

Duc, Roger

1225-1227

1227-1231

Eswy, Ralph

c. 1237

1234-1235, 1239-1240

1241-1244

Eswy, Richard

c. 1280-1298

Eswy, Stephen

1274-1298

FitzAilwin, Henry

Alderman

c. 1190-1212

FitzAlan, Peter

c. 1250

1246-1247

FitzAlan, Roger

Alderman

1192-1193

FitzAlulf, Constantine

Alderman

1197-1198

FitzBerengar, Reiner

1157-1159, 1162-1169

FitzIsabel, William

1162-1169, 1176-1177, 1178-1187, 1193-1194

FitzJoce, Nicholas

Before 1249 to 1258

1248-1249

FitzJordan, Jordon

Alderman1

FitzMary, Simon

c. 1237-49

1233-1234
1246 1247

FitzPeter, Alan

Alderman2

FitzReiner, Henry

Alderman3

FitzReiner, Richard

1187-1189

FitzRenger, Richard

c.1230

1220-1222

1222-1227, 1237-1239

FitzThomas, Thomas

c. 1248-60

1257-1258

1261-1265

Galeys (Waleys), Henry

c.1269-94

1270-1271

1273-1274, 1281-1284,
1298-1299

Goodcheap, Jordan

1283-1284

Joiner, William

c.1232

1222-1223

1239

Rokesle, Gregory

c.1265-1291

1263-1264, 1270-71

1274-1281, 1285 1284

Steperanc, Ralph

c.1230

Walemunt, Henry

1255

1. Cartulary of Holy Trinity Aldgate, n° 241, 270
2. Calendar of Ancient Deeds, i, A1499.
3. Calendar of Ancient Deeds, ii, A2690.

Notes

1 M. Reddan, “St. Mary of Bethlehem”, in W. Page, Victoria County History of London, London: Constable, 1909, p. 495-498 = The Religious Houses of London and Middlesex, eds. C.M. Barron and M. Davies, London: Institute of Historical Research, 2007, p. 113-115.

2 The events of Simon’s political career are described in a contemporary chronicle attributed to the alderman Arnald FitzThedmar. The original manuscript is held by the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA): COL/CS/01/001/01. An English translation of the chronicle can be found in the Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London, ed. and tr. H.T. Riley, London: Trübner, 1863.

3 J. Andrews et al., The History of Bethlem, London: Routledge, 1997, p. 21-35; N. Vincent, “Goffredo de Prefetti and the Church of Bethlehem in England”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 49, 1998, p. 213-235.

4 See Appendix A and Andrews, History of Bethlem, p. 22. For an introduction to the use of seals by medieval Londoners, and an overview of their characteristics, see: E. New, “Representation and Identity in Medieval London: the Evidence of Seals”, in M. Davies and A. Prescott (eds.), London and the Kingdom: Essays in Honour of Caroline M. Barron, Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2008, p. 246-258.

5 S. Thrupp, The Merchant Class of Medieval London: 1300-1500, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1948, p. 249-256.

6 Historians have, however, expressed interest in the types of images and symbols used by the ruling elite of London in the thirteenth century: J.A. Goodall, “The Use of Armorial Bearings by London Aldermen in the Middle Ages”, Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, vol. 20, 1961, p. 17-21. It must be conceded that in the absence of a catalogue of impressions of seals used by the men in the high civic offices, it is not easy to determine if a seal survives for any given man. To assist scholars, a catalogue of impressions of the personal seals of thirteenth-century civic officers preserved in London archives is in preparation. This paper is based on the preliminary results of this project.

7 For convenience, a summary of the careers in civic government of men whose seals are cited in this study is provided in Table 1.

8 For an overview of the governance of the city in this period, see D. Keene, “London from the Post-Roman Period to 1300”, in D.M. Palliser (ed.), The Cambridge Urban History of Britain, I: 600-1540, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 203-211. The most important study of London’s civic government in the thirteenth century is G.A. Williams, Medieval London: From Commune to Capital, London: Athlone Press, 1963.

9 The civic government had a complex structure and over time the number of officers increased. For the purposes of this paper the discussion will be limited to the men who served as mayor, sheriff or alderman, and these offices will be collectively described as the “high offices”.

10 Precisely when the office of mayor of London was created is uncertain. Henry FitzAilwin emerges as a leading figure within the community in the early 1190s. FitzAilwin’s position may initially have been informal: C.N.L. Brooke, London 800-1216, the Shaping of a City, London: Secker and Warburg, 1975, p. 246-247.

11 From 1191 sheriffs served for a year, but from 1218 two years became customary. In 1230 the term was again restricted to a year and this proved to be an enduring arrangement: Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriff, p. 6; C. Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages: Government and People 1200-1500, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 311-314.

12 D. Bowsher et aL, The London Guildhall: An Archaeological History of a Neighbourhood from Early Medieval to Modern Times, London: Museum of London Archaeology Service, 2007, p. 356.

13 J. Alexander and P. Binski (eds.), Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400, London: Royal Academy, 1987, p. 273.

14 E. New, “Seals and Status in Medieval English Towns”, in N. Adams, J. Cherry and J. Robinson (eds.) Good Impressions: Image and Authority in Medieval Seals, London: British Museum Press, 2008, p. 37.

15 C. Barron, “Lay Solidarities: the Wards of Medieval London,” in P. Stafford, J.L. Nelson, J. Martindale (eds.), Law, Laity and Solidarities: Essays in Honour of Susan Reynolds, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001, p. 219.

16 A Descriptive Calendar of Ancient Deeds in the Public Record Office, 6 vols., London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1890-1915, ii, A.2484. Surnames might be toponyms, patronymics and soubriquets, and men could use multiple aliases. For an overview of the types of surnames current in England in the eleventh and twelfth century, see K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents, 1066-1166: II. Pipe Rolls to Cartae Baronum, Woodbridge: Boydell, 2002, p. 7.

17 The reference to the banners is found in an early thirteenth century judicial collection in the context of a set of regulations of the time of King John. M. Bateson (ed.), “A London Municipal Collection of the Reign of John”, English Historical Review, 17, 1902, p. 727; Goodall, “Armorial Bearings”, art. cit., p. 17-18.

18 In 1234-35, for example, Lucy of Northampton reached an agreement with Richard of Stanford: GL MS 25121/249. Joce FitzPeter, as alderman of the ward, both witnessed and sealed the charter. In property transactions during this period, women are often recorded acting in partnership or with the consent of a male relation. As Lucy appears to have acted without a supporting male relation, Joce may have been asked to seal the document to help legitimize the agreement. The impression of his seal does not survive but the tag is labelled ‘seal of Joce son of Peter alderman’.

19 In this paper, all dates for the terms of office of mayors and sheriffs are drawn from: Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages, op. cit., Appendix 1, and S. Reynolds, “The Rulers of London in the Twelfth Century”, History, 57, 1972, p. 345 and 354-357. See also Brooke, London 800-1216, op. cit., Appendix II. For aldermen from 1230: A.B. Beaven, The Aldermen of the City of London, London: Eden Fisher, 1908-1913, 2 vols., I, p. 371-379. A list of aldermen prior to 1230 has yet to be published. Some are mentioned in Reynolds’“Rulers of London”, p. 354-357. See also S. Reynolds, “Early Medieval Londoners”, London: Guildhall Library, Unpublished Typescript, 7 vols., iv.

20 The bulk of the evidence for the seals of thirteenth-century Londoners is in the form of surviving impressions, but a few seal matrixes have been discovered in an archaeological context: Β. Spencer, “Medieval seal-dies recently found at London”, The Antiquaries Journal, 64, 1984, p. 376-382; London Museum, Medieval Catalogue, London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1954, p. 294-298.

21 On the property holdings of the prominent men, see Keene, “London from the post Roman Period...”, op. cit., p. 206-207.

22 The Guildhall Library (GL) holds the deeds of St Paul’s Cathedral. The deeds of St Bartholomew Hospital are in the hospital’s archive (ΒΗΑ). The London Metropolitan Archive (LMA) holds the deeds of the Bridge House: LMA CLA/007/EM/02/[A-F] and LMA CLA/007/EM/03. Twelfth and thirteenth-century London deeds can be found in a number of series in the National Archive (TNA).

23 A. Ailes, ‘The Knight’s Alter Ego: From Equestrian to Armorial Seal’, in Adams, Cherry and Robinson (eds), Good Impressions..., op. cit., p. 10; C. Hunter Blair, “Armorials on English Seals from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Centuries”, Archaeologia, 89, 1943, p. 1; P.D.A. Harvey and A. McGuinness, A Guide to British Medieval Seals, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996, p. 50. For France, see B. Bedos-Rezak, “The Social Implications of the Art of Chivalry: The Sigillographic Evidence (France 1050-1250)”, in E.R. Haymes (ed.), The Medieval Court in Europe, München: Wilhelm Fink, 1986, p. 159-160.

24 Four impressions survive: LMA CLA/007/EM/02/B/94, B/095, F/035; TNA E42/79. None of the impressions are complete. For a reconstruction of the design see: J. McEwan, “Horses, Horsemen and Hunting: Leading Londoners and Equestrian Seals in the Late Twelfth and Early Thirteenth-Centuries”, Essays in Medieval Studies, 22, 2005, p. 79.

25 BHA 1080, 1104, 1108, 1115.

26 Nicholas Fitzjoce was using a seal incorporating an image of a horseman c. 1259: BHA 861.

27 A brief description of the characteristics of the seals used by high status male Londoners can be found in McEwan, “Horses, Horsemen and Hunting”, art. cit., p. 82-84. For a broad overview of the range of types of designs used in London in the period 1200-1500 see New, “Representation and Identity”, art. cit., p. 249.

28 The date c.1200 is suggested in Andrews, History of Bethlem, op. cit., p. 27. Simon makes his first appearance in the records in the late 1220s: Chertsey Abbey Cartularies, London: Surrey Record Society, 2 vols., vol. 1., M.S. Giuseppi (ed.), 1915-1933, and vol. 2, C.A.F. Meekings (ed.), 1958-1963, II, pt. 1, n° 1207, 1212.

29 He may not, however, have come from a great distance. Fulham is a parish to the west of London bordering on the Thames in the county of Middlesex.

30 These parishes are clustered near the northern bridgehead: M.D. Lobel (ed.), Historic Town Atlas: The City of London from Prehistoric Times to c.1520, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989, p. 123. E. Mason (ed.) Westminster Abbey Charters, London: London Record Society, 1988, n° 379; The Cartulary of Holy Trinity Aldgate, ed. G.A.J. Hodgett, London: London Record Society, 1971, n° 280; Early Charters of The Cathedral Church of St Paul, London, ed. M. Gibbs, London: Camden Society, 1939, n° 211. Walter has perhaps been overlooked by previous scholars because of the erroneous twelfth-century dates assigned to some of the documents. The St. Paul’s deed found in Gibb’s edition can be securely dated to 1216-1217. Witnesses to the St. Paul’s deed, including John Garland who served as sheriff in 1211-1212, also appear in the Westminster deed, indicating that the documents are contemporary. The first witness to the Holy Trinity deed is Richard Renger. A Richard Reiner (or Renger) served as sheriff in 1189-1190 but he is most probably a different man than the Richard Renger who was elected mayor in 1222 and remain in public life until 1239. That the Renger in the Holy Trinity deed is the thirteenth-century candidate is confirmed by the second witness, Joce FitzPeter, who was serving as sheriff in 1211-1212 and as an alderman in 1225-1226: GL MS25121/267. The dates that Mason and Hodgett assign to their respective deeds should be amended, perhaps to c. 1210-1220.

31 Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages, op. cit., p. 314.

32 The London Eyre of 1244, eds. H.M. Chew and M. Weinbaum, London: London Record Society, 1970, n° 84; W. Kellaway, “The Coroner in Medieval London”, in A.E.J. Hollaender and W. Kellaway (eds.), Studies in London History: Present to Philip Edmund Jones, 1969, p. 75-76.

33 Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriff of London, p. 7; Andrews, History of Bethlem, op. cit., p. 29.

34 Beaven, Aldermen of the City of London,i, op. cit., p. 372.

35 Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriff, op. cit., p. 8.

36 The king was probably less interested in the details of the dispute than in its potential to give him leverage over the civic leadership. The king hoped to establish a fair at Westminster, which would have threatened the city’s economic interests: Close Rolls of the Reign of Henry III, 14 vols., London: Public Record Office, 1902-38, vi (1247-1251), p. 79; S. Letters, Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516, Kew: List and Index Society, 2003, p. 237; Williams, Medieval London, op. cit., p. 206-207; G. Rosser, Medieval Westminster, Oxford: Clarendon, 1989, p. 97-98; Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs, op. cit., p. 14-17.

37 Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriff, op. cit., p. 16-17.

38 See also: Andrews, History of Bethlem, op. cit., p. 33.

39 Simon’s daughter Joan was still in London in 1257-1258 when she was accused of participating in a murder: The London Eyre of1276, ed. M. Weinbaum, London: London Record Society, 1976, n° 84.

40 GL MS25121/214, MS25121/1070.

41 GL MS25121/214; BHA 1211; TNA E210/3160.

42 Chertsey Abbey Cartularies, II, pt. 1, n° 1207, 1212.

43 GL MS25121/1070. The witnesses included John Viel, his sons John and William, and Richard Hadestock as alderman. Hadestock had assumed this office by 1231-1232: BM, Lansdowne Ch. 652. John Viel (senior) was dead by 1246: Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs, op. cit., p. 13. The charter probably dates to the early part of that span of dates, before John Viel’s sons became prominent civic leaders in their own right. John Viel (junior) was sheriff in 1241-1242 and William may have succeeded his father as alderman of Bread Street ward.

44 Adam Basing and Hugh Blunt were sheriffs in 1243-44 and witnessed GL MS25121/214. The witnesses of TNA E210/3160 include “Master William” of St Giles’Hospital who was in office by 1226-1227: Religious House of London, op. cit., p. 318. The second witness is Ralph Eswy who was dead by 1247: Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs, op. cit., p. 14. Kerling dates BHA 1211 to c. 1245: Cartulary of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, ed. N. J. M. Kerling, London: St. Bartholomews Hospital, 1973, n° 744.

45 On the development of shields of arms, see Blair, “Armorials on English Seals”, art. cit., p. 7-19.

46 TNA E40/6884; BHA 1229.

47 See for example: Joce Acatur: TNA E329/41; Nicholas Bat: LMA CLA/007/EM/02/A/004; Stephen Cornhill: TNA DL25/113, E40/10217, E40/10373; Stephen Eswy: TNA DL 25/121; Henry Galeys: GL MS25121/23; Jordan Goodcheap: GL MS25121/1231; Richard Refham: TNA LR14/605; Gregory Rokesle: TNA E40/6093, E42/48. For details of their civic political careers, see Table 1.

48 Birds appear on the seals of several men: Joce Acatur: TNA E40/2009 and (second seal) TNA E329/41; Robert Blund: BHA 452, 881; Richard Eswy: LMA CLA/007/EM/02/B/051, GL MS 25121/1664; William FitzIsabel: GL MS25121/22, TNA C148/74; Henry FitzReiner: BHA 684, 1095, TNA E40 1803. Lions were another popular choice: Ralph Alegate: TNA E40/1764, E40/4016, GL MS25121/1500; William Chamberlain: LMA CLA/007/EM/02/B/047, TNA E40/1862, E40/1877; Gervase of Cornhill: Canterbury Cathedral Archives, Ancient Charters, C/859; Roger FitzAlan: British Library (BL), Harley Charter 50 A3; Richard FitzReiner: BHA 1267; Henry Walemunt: TNA LR14/549.

49 BL, Harley Charter 47 A44. Another intriguing case of the use of the boar’s head device is provided by the seals of Henry de Lalieflonde. He never served in a high civic office, but he was responsible for a prison and its surrounding neighbourhood and that gave him a prominent role in the local community. Henry and his father are recorded holding privileges over the Fleet river and custody of the Fleet prison in the late twelfth century: Cartulary of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, n° 508-512. As a young man he can be found using a boar’s head seal; he later acquired a more impressive seal featuring the same device, perhaps after he inherited custody of the prison from his father: BHA 435, 1247.

50 Constantine FitzAlulf: BHA 469; Jordan Fitzjordan: BHA 7; Roger le Duc: BHA 1178; Nicholas Fitzjoce: BHA 861; Ralph Eswy: TNA DL25/135.

51 BHA 1178. For an image of the seal, see McEwan, “Horses, Horsemen and Hunting”, art.cit., p. 83, fig. 6.

52 BHA 861.

53 On ancient gems, see M. Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record: England 1066-1307, Oxford: Blackwell, 1993, p. 316-317. On the process whereby medieval Christians interpreted ancient gems, see M. Henig, “The Re-use and Copying of Ancient Intaglios set in Medieval Personal Seals, mainly found in England: An aspect of the Renaissance of the 12th century”, in Adams, Cherry and Robinson (eds.), Good Impressions, op. cit., p. 25-26.

54 Harvey and McGuinness, A Guide to British Medieval Seals, op. cit., p. 83-84.

55 TNA E40/11002. The bottom half of the impression is lost.

56 TNA E40/11002; TNA DL 25/132.

57 Robert Blund: BHA 881; Alan FitzPeter: BHA 1229, TNA E40/6884.

58 GL MS25121/108. William Joiner was sheriff in 1222 and mayor in 1239.

59 GL MS25121/540 and GL MS25121/542.

60 Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “cheap” and “boot”.

61 GL MS25121/1229.

62 GL MS25121/1231.

63 TNA E40/2009.

64 TNA E329/41. On Acaturs political career, see Williams, Medieval London, op. cit., p. 252.

65 Cartulary of Holy Trinity Aldgate, n° 35, 58, 82, 90; Barron, London in the Later Middle Ages, op. cit., p. 314.

66 TNA DL25/135; LMA CLA/007/EM/02/B/083, F/036.

67 LMA CLA/007/EM/02/C/015.

68 Andrews, History of Bethlem, op. cit., p. 27-28; E.G. O’donoghue, The Story of Bethlehem Hospital, London: T.Fisher Unwin, 1914, p. 5.

69 For the site of the religious house, see Lobel, Historic Town Atlas, p. 89 and map 3.

70 Barron, “Introduction” in The Religious Houses of London and Middlesex, op. cit., p. 7; J. Röhrkasten, “Mendicants in the Metropolis: The Londoners and the Development of the London Friaries”, in M. Prestwich, R.H. Britnell and R. Frame (eds.), Thirteenth Century England, VI, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1997, p. 65-75.

71 Vincent, “Goffredo de Preffetti”, art. cit., p. 219.

72 Andrews, History of Bethlem, op. cit., p. 32-33; Vincent, “Goffredo de Prefetti”, art. cit., p. 226-225.

73 Goffredo’s seal depicts the Nativity, see Vincent, ibid., p. 234.

74 W. Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1817-1830, vol. 6, pt. II, p. 622-623.

75 On donor figures on London personals seals, see New, “Seals and Status”, art. cit., p. 38.

Table des illustrations

Légende Ill. 1 - Seal of Simon FitzMary (A) Original, Ø 34 x 28 mm GL, MS25121/1070
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 85k
Légende Ill. 2 - Seal of Simon FitzMary (B) Original (obverse), Ø 17 mm London, GL, MS25121/214
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 92k
Légende Ill. 3 - Seal of Simon FitzMary (C) Original (reverse), Ø 24 x 18 mm London, GL, MS25121/214
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 94k
Légende Ill. 4 - Seal of Alan FitzPeter (A) Original (obverse), Ø 37 mm London, TNA E40/6884
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 84k
Légende Ill. 5 - Seal of Alan FitzPeter (B) Original (reverse), Ø 16 x 18 mm London, TNA E40/6884
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 120k
Légende Ill. 6 - Seal of Richard Renger (A) Original (reverse), Ø 40 (?) x 30 mm London, TNA E40/11002
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 106k
Légende Ill. 7 - Seal of Richard Renger (B) Original (obverse), Ø 22 x 19.5 mm London, TNA E40/11002
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 91k
Légende Ill. 8 - Seal of William Joiner (A) Original, Ø 35 mm London, GL, MS25121/108
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 81k
Légende Ill. 9 - Seal of William Joiner (B) Original, Ø 28 mm London, GL MS25121/542
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 102k
Légende Ill. 10 - Seal of Jordan Goodcheap (A) Original, Ø 20 mm London, GL, MS25121/1229
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 97k
Légende Ill. 11 - Seal of Jordan Goodcheap (B) Original, Ø 23 x 18 mm London, GL, MS25121/1231
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 127k
Légende Ill. 12 - Seal of Joce Acatur Original, Ø 28 mm London, TNA, E329/41
URL http://books.openedition.org/irhis/docannexe/image/2894/img-12.jpg
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Auteur

Docteur en histoire (Université de Londres), est actuellement chercheur post-doctoral à l’université d’Aberystwyth. Ses travaux portent sur l’histoire urbaine anglaise des années 1100-1350, et en particulier sur la ville de Londres et ses élites dirigeantes. Il achève une étude prosopographique pour le XIIIe siècle londonien. Parmi ses publications : « Horses, Horsemen and Hunting : Leading Londoners and Equestrian Seals in the Late Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries », Essays in Medieval Studies 20 (2006, 77-93) ; « William FitzOsbert and the Crisis of 1196 in London », Florilegium, 21 (2004, 18-42).

© Publications de l’Institut de recherches historiques du Septentrion, 2011

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540